On Tuesday, a female suicide attacker detonated the Chinese language centre within Karachi University, killing four people — three Chinese nationals and a Pakistani man.
At the scene of the attack, Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon told the media that four other people were hurt, including a Chinese national and Rangers soldiers. The chief of the Counter-Terrorism Department, Raja Umar Khattab, acknowledged that the suicide attack outside the Confucius Institute was carried out by a female student. He stated the attacker was an MPhil student who had tweeted her farewell to her classmates at 12:10 p.m.
When a white Hiace van carrying Chinese nationals who were members of the institute’s faculty came into her range, the attacker blew herself up at the Confucius Institute’s gate. Following the explosion, the van was enveloped in flames, with no possibility for the passengers to escape unharmed.
Three to four kilogrammes of explosives were employed in the attack, according to the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS).
Insurgents from the proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army attempted to attack the Chinese consulate in Karachi in 2018. In 2020, a similar attack, also claimed by the BLA, was thwarted at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, where the Chinese have significant investments.
The assailants appeared ready to use fidayeen methods in both attacks, indicating that the militants’ approach was developing. The BLA attack on the university grounds, however, has taken on a new dimension with the deployment of a female suicide bomber. It was a significantly more effective attack from the terrorists’ perspective than the previous two, as it killed at least three Chinese people. As the shadows of terrorist violence in Karachi begin to gather once more, law enforcement must review their own capabilities – even if they were able to prevent the two previous strikes.
The Chinese have also faced attacks in other parts of the country, where many residents, as well as terrorists, view the development initiatives they have begun with distrust. As a result, they have received the same level of security as individuals who were at the institution the day before.
Ranger soldiers were accompanying the Chinese faculty. On account of student violence, the university has been under the watchful eye of the paramilitary group for decades. However, the security system has deteriorated over time — otherwise, how could the suicide bomber, armed with a bag of explosives, have gained access to the university?
Memon, the police’s auxiliary inspector general, revealed that a burqa-clad lady was waiting for the van to approach her in order to set off the bomb. “We’re looking into the event,” he said, adding that “it appears that the Chinese teachers were the primary target.”
The van was wrecked in the explosion, with one side of it perforated with little holes, according to later footage of the attack on TV and social media. The attack was claimed by the banned Baloch Liberation Army (BLA).
Prof Huang Guiping, the Confucius Institute’s director, and two female teachers, Ding Mofang and Chen Sai, were among the Chinese nationals who died. After lunch at the university’s hotel, the professors were returning, according to Khattab.